Ford to invest $900 million in Thai factories

America’s Ford Motor Company announced plans to invest $900 million to modernize its factories in Thailand, and the Kingdom’s appeal with American investors is poised to grow, according to a survey by Standard Chartered Bank.

Ford’s investment is the largest it has ever made in Thailand. The funds will be used to upgrade its two factories that produce its Ranger pickup truck and Everest sports utility vehicle or SUV. Thailand is one of the world’s largest markets for one-ton pickup trucks.

The move to modernize comes at a time when most major automobile manufacturers are upgrading facilities as part of an industry transformation to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles and advanced vehicle technologies, including charging ecosystems, are strongly supported by Thailand’s government as essential to meeting its obligations under the Paris Climate Accords and the country’s goal of creating a more advanced economy driven by innovation and research and development.

Ford said that its expansion would add about 1,250 new jobs at its facilities. Roughly $400 million of the investment would go towards strengthening its supply chain network, the company added.

Ford is just one of several American companies planning to expand their investments and operations in Thailand, and throughout the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to Standard Chartered Bank.

A recent survey by the bank of senior executives at 40 American companies reported that 43 percent said they are focusing on expanding in Thailand, making it the third most popular location in the region after Singapore at nearly 60 percent and Indonesia at about 45 percent.

“Thanks to a sizeable market, increased adoption of new technology and a rapidly expanding middle class, ASEAN continues to be full of exciting business opportunities for U.S. companies across various sectors,” said Steven Cranwell, CEO for Standard Chartered Americas.

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